Five years after having offered her services to be Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, classmate of the President of the Republic at Ena, and general manager of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) since March 2021, has been appointed Friday in this position and will also have to embody the Olympics two years before the planetary event.

This former world junior tennis champion prepared Emmanuel Macron’s sports program, taking stock of the past five-year term, which saw two former sportswomen, fencer Laura Flessel, and swimmer Roxana Maracinenu occupy the position.

But unlike the latter since the summer of 2020, it will not be under the supervision of National Education and recovers a full-fledged ministry, the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a bonus.

While her name has been circulating for weeks, she said on Monday on BFM Business “to have a super cool head” and to be “totally focused on Roland-Garros” which begins on Sunday.

It must be said that she had already made an offer of services the day after Emmanuel Macron’s victory in 2017, confiding to the daily L’Equipe that she was “prepared for the job”. “I told Emmanuel that I was there if he found that I could be useful”, explained this member of the Senghor class of Ena where she rubbed shoulders with him, after having done Sciences-Po and the Dry.

After several years at the Court of Auditors, she branched off into the private sector, notably with the insurer Axa, then Carrefour as e-commerce director.

However, the sirens of sport have called her back in recent years.

She had thus applied to be general manager of the organizing committee of the Paris 2024 Olympics, topped at the post by Etienne Thobois. On the initiative of a think tank “Let’s renovate sport” created in 2016, it is concerned with ethical issues and “sport for all”. More recently, support of the ex-judoka Thierry Rey, unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the CNOSF, she had failed to enter the board of directors of the Olympic committee.

“AOC” as it is sometimes nicknamed, the same acronym as the bubbling American Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joined the Tennis Federation in March 2021, after the election as its head of Gilles Moretton, who welcomed the appointment of its former CEO. “It’s a great joy to see her in this role now,” he said Friday night. “She has already quit her job.”

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra made “the choice to leave the golds of the executive committees of the CAC 40 groups to listen to her passion, to listen to her guts”, says on Tennis Actu the one who put away her rackets after a match lost in mixed doubles with Amélie Mauresmo in 1996.

“She ticks a lot of boxes”, observes a former elected official with AFP, who judges her “brilliant and pleasant”. “At 800 days from the Olympics, it will be operational”, also judges a federation president, surveyed before his appointment. Besides, she’s a woman.

At the statement of his name which has been circulating for weeks, few detractors.

“Those who say that she will not take the post because her husband is managing director of Société Générale, say so because they do not want her to be a minister”, deciphers this federation president. At the head of Société Générale for 14 years, Frédéric Oudéa announced Tuesday at the general meeting of the group that he would not be a candidate for his succession in 2023, at the end of his term.

Same praise collected from a sports executive: “She picks up quickly, she is intelligent, and she knows how to surround herself”. “A little techno”, nuances another elected official, adding that she “pays attention to what one can say”.

In the wake of the axis taken during the first five-year term, she explained on Wednesday to the Circle of Economists that it was necessary “to inject more sport into the heart of the educational project of our nation”.

Three times French champion between 1990 and 1996, world champion in 1992, and having made the semi-finals of three junior Grand Slams, she says she is inspired by the American tennis legend “Billie Jean King” who “did a lot for women’s sports”.

But, with the Paris Olympics in two years – also piloted by the interministerial delegation to the Olympics attached to Matignon – a file little politically supported by her predecessor, this 44-year-old woman will have a lot to do and not only for women’s sport. .

05/20/2022 23:22:31 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2022 AFP